The Halloween handbook

Oct. 27, 2005, midnight | By Zoe Norvell | 15 years, 5 months ago

The guide on where to's and what to do's for Oct. 31

Tired of throwing on that old white sheet at the last minute because you had nothing else to wear for Halloween? Then this year, take your one chance to wear something unusual and put together the best Halloween get-up. Even if you're too cool to go trick-or-treating this year, remember that it's even more uncool to show up to the Halloween bash without a costume. No matter what your plans are for Halloween, we've got you covered. Here are some of the best stores in town for completing your one-of-a-kind Halloween ensemble:

The classic get-up with all the accessories

Costumes Creative has walls and walls of wigs in every color imaginable to match any costume. On the opposite wall hangs a huge variety of caricature style masks ranging from celebrities to politicians to famous movie roles. If you're trying to be frugal this Halloween, check out their affordable rental deals and borrow a pre-assembled costume for the night. Costumes Creative is a great place to stop by first because of their sheer volume of inventory. They're sure to have what you're looking for!

Costumes Creative
9168 Brookville Rd.
Silver Spring, MD

Kinetic Artistry is the ultimate Halloween supplies store for all your costume needs. The store is mainly a supplier for theatrical makeup, but around October they stock up on the things they know everyone needs. So if you're planning on being a hungry vampire, head on down to get some high quality fake blood and sharp fangs. If you're taking a stab at impersonations, check out their huge variety of strikingly real facial hair and makeup. Keep in mind that some of their supplies are high quality which also means higher prices.

Kinetic Artistry
7216 Carroll Avenue
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912

S&A Beads is a bead store 11 months of the year, but when October rolls around they are stocked with most of what you need to add to the more traditional costumes. Face paint, fake body parts, wigs, masks, trick-or-treating bags, witchery accessories and dress-up jewelry is piled by the front door ready to go along with any outfit.

S&A Beads
6929 Laurel Avenue
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912

Wacky, tacky and fantastic

Glad Rags is a little clothing store on Carroll Avenue that can't be missed—literally. The brightly painted store is just as colorful as the extraordinary clothing, shoes and accessories. If you got inspiration from some of the outfits worn on Wacky Tacky Day on Oct. 26, Glad Rags is the place for you. Most of the bizarre and flashy collection is for girls: dresses, matching ensembles, sparkly shoes and things you never thought were meant to be worn. The Glad Rags style emphasizes that no accessory is too excessive. Don't forget to top off your outfit with feather boas, gorgeous crowns, bright sunglasses, jewelry and hilarious purses.

Glad Rags
7306 Carroll Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Ever think you were born in the wrong decade? This Halloween is your chance to relive the past and experience a totally different style (without feeling stupid). Re-Run in Takoma Park is the number one supplier of genuine retro clothing from the 60s and 70s. We're talking hippie-style skirts and shirts, real flapper dresses, authentic army jackets and hats, bohemian wear and attire ready for a disco. Re-Run will not leave you disappointed, whether it's casual retro wear or a formal disco dress you're looking for. However, you're getting genuine clothing from the 60s and 70s, so you may have to rummage through the stacks and stacks of fun clothing to find something that your wallet will appreciate.

7061 Laurel Ave
Takoma Park MD 20912

Very vintage and cheap chic

Polly Sue's has adorable yet affordable clothes from the roaring 20s even up to the happenin' 80s. Gorgeous authentic prom dresses hang on a large rack in the front corner of the store with genuine hats and shoes from matching eras sitting nearby. Towards the back of the store hang bona fide lettermen's jackets dating all the way back to the 50s along with decorative bowling shirts adorned with names such as "Suzie," "Jo Ann" and "Big Ross." Downstairs is where you'll find silly odds and ends from the more recent decades, including shoes, jackets, jewelry and purses. Amazingly enough, you can find an authentic 60s dress or 70s high school jacket at Polly Sues for as low as 20 bucks!

Polly Sue's
6915 Laurel Ave
Takoma Park MD 20912

Takoma Underground can easily be missed, tucked around the corner of the Westmoreland shops in Downtown Takoma Park, but don't miss it! It's similar to Polly Sue's in the range of clothing it provides from different eras, only the Underground carries more styles for men. Genuine fedoras cover the shelves in the hat corner next to the authentic suits, pants and jackets from the roaring 20s. Hanging next to this collection are zoot suits in great condition. After spending no more than 20 minutes in this store, you should be able to leave with several possible Kathryn Hepburn or Humphrey Bogart knock-offs.

Takoma Underground
7000 Carroll Ave # B
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Perfectly proud and penniless

Unless you're quite the savvy spender, it may be difficult to pull together a not-so-expensive costume. That's where the trusty thrift store comes in! Value Village is a mega second-hand store located on University Ave. near Langley Park. If worst comes to worst and it's Oct. 30 and you're fresh out of ideas, just head down to Value Village and after 10 minutes you should be able to find several creative possibilities. Aside from the slim selection of actual pre-purchased Halloween costumes, you should be able to find the accessories needed to be a cowboy, a princess, a super hero, an 80s diva or challenge yourself to finding the wackiest and most mismatched outfit for under $10.

Value Village
2277 University Blvd E
Adelphi, Md 20783


Who says the only way to have a rockin' costume is by emptying your wallet on something you'll only wear for a night? This year, try making your own costume. There are some easy and inexpensive ideas out there, even for those who can't sew to save their lives. Check out these websites for some fun, easy, and cheap ideas complete with instructions to make your own costume:

Costume Idea Zone
Crafty Costumes
Create Your Own @ Value Village
Costumes in 1-2-3!

Zoe Norvell. Zoe = awesome. More »

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